During our lives we constantly strive for accomplishments in our career, and we educate ourselves to reach certain goals according to our ambitions. Being successful in the field we love brings us a lot of happiness, as well as a substantial paycheck at the end of the month, which allows us to provide for our family and go on vacations, have a nice life, and buy some unnecessary material things that simply make us happy.
However, in these busy lives we lead, we mustn’t forget that at the end, success will mean nothing if we forget about our loved ones, and let them forget us. You are never too busy to do everything you want after work, but all you need is a little guide to help you better utilize your limited free time.
1. End your working day at fixed time
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden
Working overtime brings nothing but bad results, and it makes it impossible to have a private life. As you probably have many other things planned out, if you work overtime you won’t be capable of doing much more than falling on your bed and sleeping till the morning.
If you want to have enough energy to have a life separate from your career, then you should definitely end your workday at a fixed time, so that you can organize your schedule better.
2. Rest for thirty minutes alone
These days, we are all somehow always in a hurry. We don’t know how to rest and relax anymore. Even having coffee with friends seems to have become a quick 30 minute update of what’s happening in their lives. When was the last time you just sat in a quiet environment and let your thoughts fly around the room?
In order to cope with all the stress you are facing every day, you need to learn to evaluate your day and think about everything that happened. If you don’t, you just pile up all the negativity, and start doing something else as soon as you get home, until you forget everything. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother you subconsciously. So, sit down for at least 30 minutes, take a cup of coffee or tea, and turn off everything that can distract you. Don’t let anything disturb you while you enjoy the silence. This way, you will definitely get some rest from the busy day behind you, and solve all the problems in your head.
3. Plan your next week during the weekend
We tend to make a lot of plans for the following week, but often forget about them, even if we have written them down. Because of this, you should take an hour to organize your life during the weekend.
Moreover, when you make a plan to have dinner with family or friends, you usually write it down while you are in a hurry, or just agree, relying on your good memory to keep a schedule. When you sit down on Saturday or Sunday, don’t forget to go through your mail and messages and check if you agreed to something you possibly forgot.
4. Say “no”
“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
You don’t have much time after work to do everything you want to, so you need to learn to say “no” to people if you want to survive your working week. I’m sure you want to see your friend, parents, fix something around your house, and spend quality time with your family after work; unfortunately, the day is really short, and you cannot make it all happen.
Lucky for you, there are more days in the week, so you will certainly find an hour to see your friends some other day. If you still cannot make it, don’t force your plans, but tell your friends or family that you’ll inform them when you will be available during the weekend and see if that suits them. Now you understand the importance of that one hour of planning, scheduling, and writing everything down.
Also, if your colleagues want you to help them with something that you’ll have to work overtime for, don’t automatically say “yes” but think about it. If you reschedule something at the last minute, it can make a complete chaos in your weekly schedule.
5. Write a blog
“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” – Pat Conroy
Nowadays, almost everyone has a blog and writes their opinion on a wide range of topics. If you ever wondered why people do it, maybe you should start your own blog and see for yourself. Writing our thoughts and sharing can help us deal with certain situations and be a reminder of how we felt at a certain point in our life. Basically, it is your journal that helps you avoid making the same mistakes, while at the same time helping other people deal with similar issues.
Your life is probably chaotic, and planning is getting tougher. When writing, your chaotic blog posts will soon become organized articles, and this will train your brain to start thinking in a more structured and logical manner. Also, both your job and private life will benefit, as you will have a clear picture of how you evolved as a person and the things you have accomplished along the way. Getting started is fairly easy, you just need to think of a good name, register a domain name, look into affordable hosting, and get a nice WordPress theme (a lot of which are free).
You can have a blog up and running within a day, and then you can start expressing your creativity, which will help you deal with your problems and emotions, and help you gain a few online followers. After some time of writing a blog, compare your decisions to the ones you were making before you started writing regularly. Don’t be surprised to find a noticeable improvement.
6. Know your priorities
In order to better utilize your time, you need to know your priorities. Don’t neglect important things in your life, just because something comes up unexpectedly. If you really want something, you’ll make it happen. The best way to make it happen is not to let other things get in the way.
If your child has their first recital, and you have a lot of work left to complete for tomorrow, remember that big moment will stay imprinted in your child’s memory forever. It is very important to be capable of filtering things, so feel free to postpone a few unimportant tasks and write them down on a piece of paper. You’ll find a way to make them happen later.
7. Adapt other plans to your schedule
Having a life outside of work is incredibly important. During your free time, you can recharge your batteries, do your favorite hobby and be with your family. When planning some other events, make sure you don’t adapt your personal schedule to them, but vice versa.
8. Exercise before work
By exercising before work you will leave more time after work to dedicate to some other responsibilities, and at the same time prepare yourself for the stressful day ahead of you. If you are used to exercising after work, try jogging or working out in the morning instead. You’ll certainly increase your productivity, as those endorphins will help you keep your cool and stay focused. If you haven’t tried doing exercises in the morning, definitely give it a go and see how your body and mind respond.
9. Ignore social media and turn off your laptop
This has certainly happened to you at some point. You start scrolling your News Feed or chatting with your friends, and when you look at the watch you realize you’ve been doing that for an hour or even more. This is a really bad habit, as you waste a lot of time on something pointless. When you come home from work, and you immediately start logging into all of your accounts, you begin to slowly distance yourself from reality and you lose track of time. This way, instead of playing or talking with your partner and children, you end up wasting time on social media.
If you want to be productive, use the time spent on Facebook or Twitter to promote yourself or your company, and keep it short. You can use the hour or two you’ll save to grab a drink with your friends at the closest bar, and get your news and gossip firsthand. You cannot just disconnect, as we are all used to going through our News Feeds, but you can set a reminder and limit your use of social media.
10. Don’t plan too many things
People become chaotic and disorganized when they want to squeeze all of their plans in one evening. Now, you need to face it – it is impossible. It is completely understandable that you want to do all of those interesting things at once, but you cannot clone yourself (at least for now).
Don’t plan too many things. By using your priority formula and the saying “no” strategy, you can easily decide what plans you’ll go through with, and which ones will have to be postponed or even cancelled. Even if you manage to make a tight schedule that will allow you to do it all, you’ll still sacrifice something and only be in a hurry the whole time.
There are a lot of things happening in our lives. It’s really hard to keep track of everything that is happening. However, you need to think about your family, friends, and yourself in order to be able to organize well and utilize your time after work in the best possible manner.